Friendly brand face: Burt's Bees
Looming corporate masters: Clorox (CLX)
Burt Shavitz's bees helped produce the all-natural honey-based health care products that grew into Burt's Bees, but his lover/business partner Roxanne Quimby grew those products into a $43.5 million business by 2002 after buying Burt out in 1999. The next year, Quimby sold 80% of the company to a private equity firm, which then sold to Clorox for $925 million in 2007. Those "all-natural" products are now made by the same folks who produce Pine-Sol and Liquid-Plumr.
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